26 Cute Jelly Nails to Try + DIY Guide

Updated on November 20, 2023
Lauren Long By Lauren Long
Jelly NailsPIN

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    26 Cute Jelly Nails to Try + DIY Guide

    Say “jello” to a sweet new nail trend!

    Glossy, shiny, colorful nails are sure to make your friends helly jelly. Jelly nails are so versatile they can be cute or classy, playful or polished, sweet or sassy.

    Making a comeback from the 90s, jelly nails are a nail trend that’s so adorable it’s here to stay!

    Jelly Nails Video Tutorial

    Learn how to make jelly nails with this simple step-by-step video tutorial.

    What Are Jelly Nails?

    Jelly nails are a style of natural or artificial nails that gives the polish color a translucent, glass-like finish. Named after the Jell-O or jellyfish they resemble, jelly nails are achieved through a sheer wash of color; they are known as the lip gloss of nail finishes. The jelly nail trend has been around for decades but has come back in recent years thanks to social media platforms and talented nail artists.

    Jelly nails are popular because they:

    • Are easy to achieve
    • Provide a stunning canvas for nail art
    • Look great in every color
    • Work on long and short nails

    Celebrities are hopping on this cute and casual nail trend. Hollywood bombshells like Megan Fox have found a way to make jelly nails look glamorous and red-carpet-ready.

    Jelly Nail Polish

    Jelly nails are achieved by coating layers of sheer or transparent polish onto a solid color. You can also buy an all-in-one jelly nail polish to get the look in a single bottle. Jelly nail polishes come as a thick, gel-like substance with a sheer color and a very glossy finish.

    The three most popular brands of jelly nail polish are:

    1. Jelly Belly Salley Hansen Insta-Dri nail polishes
    2. GAOY Icy Jelly Gel Nail Polish
    3. Makartt Jelly Gel Polish

    True jelly nail polishes are their own nail polish finish, similar to but different from crème or sheer nail polish.

    The chart below provides an overview of jelly vs. crème vs. sheer nail polish.

    Jelly Crème Sheer
    • Translucent polish
    • Glossy finish
    • High shine
    • Opaque polish
    • Glossy finish
    • Minimal shine
    • Translucent polish
    • Shimmer finish
    • High shine

    Jelly Nails Korean

    Looking for a posh and professional way to wear jelly nails?

    Korean jelly nails are different from the colorful jelly nails popular in western culture.

    Jelly nails were made popular by K-Pop idols. They’re trendy for their sophisticated look while maintaining their attractive candy-like finish.

    The chart below shows the differences between western and Korean jelly nails.

    Western Jelly Nails Korean Jelly Nails
    • Long or short
    • Artistic nail designs
    • Nail art
    • Colorful
    • Short
    • Plain designs
    • Minimal nail art
    • Nude or natural colors

    Kiss Jelly Nail Polish

    There’s no more convenient way to get jelly nails at home than using Kiss Jelly Fantasy nails. These ready to wear glue on nails come in bright, shiny colors with an ultra-smooth finish. Nails can be applied with adhesive tabs for wear for up to seven days or with nail glue for a manicure that lasts up to two weeks. We love the hot pink color with a coffin nail shape.

    Each Kiss jelly nails manicure set includes:

    • 28 plastic nails in 14 sizes
    • 24 adhesive tabs
    • Kiss nail glue
    • Mini nail file
    • Orangewood manicure stick

    Jelly nail designs and colors sure are a reason to get excited! We’ve gathered 27 jelly nail designs from creative nail artists.

    Pink Jelly Nails

    Somewhere under the sea, a mermaid is rocking these pink jelly nails! These ultra-transparent jelly nails in magenta resemble a hot pink jellyfish. We love the super long length and sparkly finish. They’re ready for an underwater disco.

    Jelly Nails Acrylic

    These stunning translucent pink jelly nails look just like a law lamp! Jelly acrylic nails offer a large canvas for creative nail art. Water-colour nail techniques are perfect for sheer jelly nail polish.

    Red Jelly Nails

    Did someone say Jell-O? These red jelly nails look just like a delicious bowl of jello. Opting for a clear glossy finish on dramatic red nails creates a juicy, mouth-watering look.

    Jelly Nails Press-Ons

    If you want a convenient way to try out jelly nails with stunning nail art, go for a set of jelly nails press-on! Jelly press-on nails come in all sorts of lengths, colors, and designs. We love these starry jelly nails with a stiletto nail shape.

    Jelly press-on nails come in the following nail shapes:

    • Stiletto
    • Coffin
    • Amond
    • Square

    Purple Jelly Nails

    Make a wish on this magical stardust! These purple jelly nails are giving some serious cosmic vibes. Purple is a great color for jelly nails as it naturally works well as a translucent color. We love the creative stardust nail art and glitter to look like a sparkly night sky.

    Blue Jelly Nails

    Make a splash with blue jelly nails. Jelly nails in turquoise, cyan, and aquamarine give really oceany vibes. The holographic nail art makes these jelly nails sparkle like the sea!

    Steps to get holographic jelly nails in five easy steps:

    1. Apply two to three coats of jelly nail polish.
    2. Apply a clear top coat.
    3. Before the top coat sets, lightly apply holographic nail powder.
    4. Allow your nails to dry
    5. Apply a second top coat to your nails, wait for them to dry, and you’re ready to go!

    Glitter Jelly Nails

    Get ready for jelly nails that really sparkle! You’ll be obsessed with glitter jelly nails if you love sparkly things. Glitter jelly nail polish combines an all-in-one glitter and jelly finish in one bottle. You can also add glitter and sparkles to regular jelly polish.

    Add extra bling to your glitter jelly nails such as:

    Black Jelly Nails

    Were you a kid who liked black jelly beans? If so, black jelly nails might be for you! We rarely think of black as a translucent color but black jelly nails certainly know how to pull it off!

    Clear Jelly Nails

    Let’s be clear; there’s a jelly nail design fit for every occasion! Clear jelly nails allow you to get really creative. Clear jelly polish provides a blank, glossy canvas for nail art to take center stage.

    Decorate clear jelly nails with nail art such as:

    • Floral decals
    • Nail stickers
    • Glitter
    • Rhinestones
    • Hand-painted designs

    Translucent Jelly Nails

    Technically speaking, all jelly nail polish would be translucent in color. Modern jelly nail designs can have a more opaque color with a translucent, glossy finish. Translucent jelly nails look like clear nails but with a wash of color. They’re perfect for a glossy nail style without all the attention of color.

    Coffin Jelly Nails

    If you keep up with the nail trends in 2023, you’ll know coffin nails are a trendy nail shape, popular for their drama and length. Coffin jelly nails give an edgy appeal to the playful jelly finish. Similar to ballerina nails, coffin nails are one of the most popular shapes for jelly nails as they offer flexibility for designs and nail art.

    Short Jelly Nails

    One of the best things about jelly nails is how polished they look on short nails. Short jelly nails draw attention to your manicure with the irresistible candy-like finish. We love the intense glossy coat on a multicolored nail bed.

    Green Jelly Nails

    Do you prefer lime green over cherry red Jell-O? Green jelly nails are perfect for people who love green nail colors. Go for a posh emerald green jelly nail color or a shade with spunk, like lime green for a playful vibe.

    Neon Jelly Nails

    The party has arrived! These nails are the perfect party nails. Neon jelly nails are bright and energetic for someone who loves to be the life of the party.

    Jelly Nail Polish On Natural Nails

    Wanna know the best thing about jelly nails? Jelly nail polish on natural nails looks almost as polished as on acrylic nails. Jelly nail polish is great to wear on your nails when you are giving them a break from artificial nail enhancements.

    Cotton Candy Jelly Nails

    What a delicious idea for jelly nails! Baby blue and Barbie pink colors make adorable cotton candy jelly nails. The added sparkles make these a super girly nail design that’s casual yet glamorous.

    French Jelly Nails

    Give the classic French manicure a twist. French jelly nails give a glossy, translucent finish to a white-tip manicure. They’re perfect for bridal nails or to wear with elegant evening attire.

    Stiletto Jelly Nails

    Turn heads with these ultra-long stiletto jelly nails.  The glossy appearance of jelly nails naturally makes them look playful. Dramatic, long stiletto nails are a great way to give jelly nails a fierce edge.

    Marble Jelly Nails

    Looking for the most lavish way to wear the jelly nail trend? Marble jelly nails are a gorgeous way to add shine to a marble nail design. These pink marble jelly nails even add gold flakes for extra opulence.

    Jelly Ombre Nails

    Fade away into the mesmerizing appeal of ombre nails. Ombré nails are a gorgeous way to transition nude nails into color. Jelly ombre nails accentuate the ombre technique with an intensely glossy finish. These yellow ombre jelly nails look super fancy with the added rhinestones.

    Jelly Galaxy Nails

    Jelly Galaxy NailsInstagram@gotnailPIN

    These jelly nails are out of this world! Jelly galaxy nails are a unique way to wear the jelly nail trend. Try mixing chrome polish with a clear top coat to create your own galaxy jelly polish with a futuristic shine.

    Jelly Nails Colourful Tips

    Not looking for nails that draw attention? Go for a subtle jelly nail design with colorful tips. Nude jelly nails with a bright color tip are a great way to add a little color to a tasteful manicure.

    Jelly Gradient Nails


    Play with multiple jelly colors to create a stunning gradient design. Jelly Gradient nails blend colorful sheer polish on each nail for a cascading effect.

    Rainbow Jelly Nails

    It’s never too early to prepare for Pride Month! Rainbow jelly nails are a creative way to wear rainbow nails to show pride. Rainbows are also symbolic of good luck and fortune. The cute nails feature a gradient technique with seven colors of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.

    Pastel Jelly Nails

    Pastel acrylic nails are an adorable way to make long nails look cute and playful. Pastel jelly nails use soft translucent colors – they’re perfect for springtime. We love the creative glitter nail technique with rhinestones to add some sassy bling to the jelly nail design.

    Chrome Jelly Nails

    Metallic chrome colors and glossy jelly polish seem like a match made in heaven for a shiny manicure. These chrome gold and pink ombre nails look stunning with a glossy jelly finish. Pair with gold jewelry to accentuate the majestic golden color.

    Jelly Nails Designs

    Jelly nails are popular for many reasons, but one of the best perks of jelly nail polish is the way it accentuates nail designs. Adding a glossy, shiny touch to nails is the best way to make nail art techniques stand out.

    The chart below shows an overview of the most popular nail art techniques you can use to create stunning jelly nail designs!

    Technique Description
    Marble Jelly Two dots of color polish and a drop of glitter polish brushed together into a swirl effect.
    Ombre Jelly Two or more colors of polish from the same color group transitioned into each other from light to dark.
    Gradient Jelly Two or more colors of polish from different color groups transitioned together into a cascading design.
    Galaxy Jelly Dark base color polish with a light-colored shimmer or glitter top coat.
    Jelly Tips One or two colors of polish with a visible divide at the tip of the nail.
    Animal Print Jelly One or more nails done in the jelly-like finish with animal print designs.

    How To Do Jelly Nails

    Jelly nails look awesome on a professional gel or acrylic jelly nails manicure. You can also do jelly nails at home. Some brands have a line of jelly nail polish colors, or you can make your own DIY jelly polish color at home!

    What you will need for DIY jelly nails:

    • Manicure stick
    • Nail buffer
    • Nail file
    • Clear top coat
    • Natural base coat
    • Nail polish color of your choice
    • Water bottle cap

    Step #1

    Clean and prepare your nails as you would for a regular manicure. Use your orangewood manicure stick, nail buffer, and nail file to perfect your nail shape.

    Step #2

    Apply a natural color base coat to each nail and allow it to dry. You may skip this step, but with translucent jelly polish, a natural colored base will accentuate the color.

    Step #3

    Fill the water bottle cap half full with the clear topcoat. Try a thick gel-style topcoat like Essie Gel-Setter to get that glassy, jelly texture.

    Step #4

    Add a few drops of your nail polish color into the top coat and mix it around. This makes your DIY jelly nail polish color!

    Step #5

    Paint your nails with two to three coats of your DIY jelly nail polish and allow them to dry.

    Step #6

    Decorate your nails with hand-painted nail art or nail decals, apply a clear top coat, and allow them to dry!


    • How to Make Jelly Nail Polish

      Making your own DIY jelly nail polish is really simple. All you need is a clear top coat and a nail polish color of your choice.

      Follow the following steps for how to make jelly nail polish:

      1. Pour a clear top coat into an empty nail polish bottle or water bottle cap.
      2. Add a few drops of nail polish color.
      3. Shake the bottle or mix the polish.
      4. Your jelly nail polish is ready to use!
    • How to Clean Jelly Nail Stamper

      Jelly nail polish loves to stick to nail stampers due to its thick, gooey texture. To clean a jelly nail stamper, use a lint roller or double-sided tape to remove the bulk of the polish. If needed, wash the nail stamper with warm water and oil-free soap. Avoid using nail polish remover to clean a jelly nail stamper.

    • How to Remove Jelly Nails

      Jelly nail polish can be hard to remove because of its thick, sticky texture, like gel nail polish. To remove jelly nails, use acetone-based nail polish remover.

      Follow these instructions for how to remove jelly nails step-by-step:

      1. Buff your nails with a nail buffer or a medium-grit nail file to remove a bulk of the product.
      2. Soak your nails in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes.
      3. Add equal parts of acetone to the arm water and soak for a few more minutes.
      4. Use a cotton pad soaked in acetone to remove any excess polish manually.
    • How Long do Jelly Nails Last?

      How long jelly nails last depend on the type of manicure you get:

      • Acrylic jelly nails: Up to 2 weeks
      • Jelly gel nails: 10 days to 2 weeks
      • Jelly nail polish: Up to 7 days
      • Jelly nail polish with a top coat: Up to 10 days

    Don’t Be Jeal-y, Make Your Nails Jelly!

    Are you convinced you need to try a jelly nails manicure? We agree! Jelly nails are so attractive; there’s a style everyone can pull off. Say goodbye to plain nail polish, and say jello to jelly nails!